What Are Dreams? Discover Why We Dream

Are you curious to know the reason for dreams? Is there an explanation why we dream? Discover the most valid explanations for dreams through psychology.

What are dreams for?

When one approaches the dream study, finds very little scientific information about the dream phenomenon, and a lot of information about the physiology of sleep. But what about the dream? Does it make any sense?

What are dreams?

Dreams include the images, thoughts, and experiences we have while we sleep. The science of dreams tells us that the moment when dreams happen most vivid dreams It is during the REM phase of sleep. It is at this moment that we can even become conscious within the dream itself.

Every night we have an average of between four and five dreams. When we wake up, we usually remember the content of some of them, but if we do not do a retention exercise they will end up disappearing from our memory. The fact that you think you can dream a lot is just why do you remember your dreams more.

Sigmund Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis, and the discoverer of the unconscious, asked the question of why the dream, being such a common and common phenomenon for men, had received so little attention in the scientific world. When he sets himself the arduous task of researching this phenomenon, he finds very little knowledge that comes from science, and yet a lot of information in other avenues of knowledge, such as popular knowledge, poetry and philosophy.

The virtue that Freud had at the time was to take the information he obtained from dream study, wherever it came from, not discarding information because it was less scientific. In 1900 she published her book The interpretation of dreams. In this book he exposes his theory where he explains, in depth, this phenomenon.

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Freud’s curiosity about dream science It comes from his interest in the human psychic apparatus, which he already sensed was more complex than the psychic apparatus that was glimpsed in the last decades of the 19th century.

“Dreaming, we all dream, and what can be generalized from its study, can be generalized about all men, without exception.”


Freud’s theory conceives the dream phenomenon as a complete psychic act, which has great importance in the psychic life of the subject. For Freud, the dream has a meaning, and that meaning is that it is a fulfillment of desires. It is for this reason, according to the author, the explanation of how dreams occur. During the dream The most hidden desires of the human being are realized, about which they know nothing, unconscious desires, and that is one of their functions. Repressed, unconscious, sexual and infantile desires.

All dreams are a fulfillment of a wish of this kind, and the manifest form which the dream takes dream, The told dream or manifest dream is nothing more than the effect of the action of the deforming forces that disguise the unconscious desire so that it can reach consciousness. This is one of the reasons why the content of dreams is, most of the time, incoherent and absurd. The real work of the dream is responsible for distorting everything that has to do with our desires, so that we know nothing about them.

The meaning of dreams

Why do we dream? What is the meaning of dreams?

Apart from Freud’s theories, there are other views on the meaning of dreams in our lives.

1. They are an expression of our unconscious

As we have seen, Freud is the first to ask himself the why we dream. If we look at the psychoanalytic perspective, Freud’s theory on dreams suggests that dreams are an unconscious representation of desires, thoughts and motivations. From the perspective of personality seen from Freud’s hypotheses, dreams end up being composed of repressed thoughts and the most primitive actions that we cannot perform in society. That is, we repress our sexual and violent part, causing these desires to go to our unconscious and appear in the form of dreams.

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2. They are a byproduct of mental processing

According to the theories presented by Hobson and McCarley in 1977, there are circuits in the brain that are activated during REM phase of sleep. This process causes some areas of the limbic system involved in emotions, sensations and memory to be activated in this phase, creating dreams as a result. According to this theory, dreams have no meaning in themselves. On the other hand, although these are not significant for our psyche or our body, we can extract a lot of creativity and ideas for our daily lives.

3. They serve to organize and consolidate memories

According to the theory of processed information, one of the explanations of why we sleep It is in what helps us consolidate and process the information that we have in memory and that we have collected throughout the day.

4. Dreams stimulate creativity

Another of the most accepted theories about dreams is that these help us solve our problems. In the great creativity that we have when dreaming, we can find some tools to solve problems that are difficult for us.

5. They are your life in images

The continuity hypothesis shows us Dreams as a reflection of a person’s real life. But instead of being a direct repetition of our lives, dreams appear as a mosaic of memory fragments.

6. They help process emotions

One of the most accepted theories explains dreams as a brain processing that helps us manage our emotions and the traumas we experience. our unconscious.

Why don't you remember your dreams?

Why don’t we remember dreams?

Dreams always accompany us. We all dream and even when we are about to be born we have dreams and throughout our lives we continue to do so, sometimes awake and always asleep.

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We usually have an average of five dreams a day, but the rush when we wake up prevents us from remembering them. Other times we are prevented from doing so by that censorious and defensive part of us that we have been creating throughout our existence, because we are not interested in knowing what comes to us directly from the unconscious, since most of us, humans, fear what that we do not know in general and about ourselves in particular.

This is how we lose or forget, dreams and with this we stop listening to a large part of what we tell ourselves, closing doors to possibilities of knowledge that bubble within us and scream to come out.

Even so, despite us, they continue doing their work, they continue transforming dense material, like emotions and repressions that we don’t like, into something that is viable for us. our consciousness. It is legitimate to give the unconscious a chance to make us “older”, to learn a language that was instilled in us since the lost times of the Collective Unconscious, in the end it always accompanies us.

How can we benefit from dreams?

A dream, if it is not remembered, if it is not worked on, has no power for us, but if we give the memory the time it deserves, if we enhance it and bring it to mind, we would be surprised how it speaks to us, what it tells us. communicates and how it says things to each of us in intimacy and with total individuality. The language is unique for each one and that is the first step that must be learned to understand our dreams. No dictionaries or internet searches for meanings are valid.

To know because we dream What we dream we must look for in the feelings, in the memories, in the events of the present that life and experience offers us and in this way we will expand and strengthen the bond and commitment with our own life, with our own sense of existence.

When there are recurring dreams or nightmares that prevent us from moving forward, this may mean that we need to solve a trauma or a problem in our psyche. For this reason, the presence of a psychologist will be of great help with whom we can remedy these obstacles that our own unconscious places on us. Dreams can help you achieve your goals in life.